TV weatherman to open town's jubilee gala

Robert Sutcliffe

YORKSHIRE TV weather man Jon Mitchell is to open this year’s Golden Jubilee Mytholmroyd Gala on June 12.

It follows several years of comic banter between the Calendar presenter and gala committee chairman Barry Greenwood, who has each year written to him in Yorkshire dialect asking for a good forecast.

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“I’m absolutely delighted that Jon has agreed to be our special guest, “ said Mr Greenwood. “I have been writing to Jon in Yorkshire dialect, saying such things as ‘Ah knows thee’s got special powers...’ and it must have tickled his fancy.

“Last year he read my message out on Calendar and said it was going to be really bad weather –and it was a glorious day, so we had a laugh about that.”

Mr Mitchell said he was delighted to be asked to open the event and would try his very best to ensure a good forecast.

“ All my forecasts are good but the weather will do as it bloomin’ well pleases,” he said.

“However, I’ll even turn up if it’s raining, but I may be in disguise. How could I refuse, especially as one of my colleagues in the Calendar newsroom is an ex-gala queen.”

She is Sue Taylor, now Sue Holmes, who reigned in 1976 and is trying to track down as many former gala queens as possible to take part in the jubilee celebrations.

“The gala committee did a great job 10 years ago, to celebrate the 40th anniversary, in getting together a good number of former queens but names and addresses have since gone astray so we’d really like to get back in touch with them now, “ said Ms Holmes, who is now Press officer for the gala.

Mr Mitchell will join the likes of Des O’Connor, Labour MP Austin Mitchell, Margaret Thatcher’s former Press secretary Bernard Ingham and local artist Donald Crossley when he opens the event.

Mr Greenwood said: “We want to make this the most memorable gala ever and would like to appeal to the local community, schools, clubs, dance troupes, playgroups, indeed everyone to get in touch and take part.’’

This year as well as the usual stalls, sideshows and attractions there will also be a farmers’ market and a dance is being held in the evening at Mytholmroyd community centre.